July 26, 2012


Members of the Birmingham Canoe Club will be at Pell City Lakeside Park this Saturday at 10 am to practice eskimo rolling.   Come by and work on getting your roll or improving your roll...
Cost is free!

Directions to Pell City Civic Center & Lakeside Park & Sports Complex
  • Go I-20 east; take exit 156 @Pell City/Eden
  • Turn right follow road (Hwy 78) into Pell City.
  • At St. Clair County Court House turn right at red light onto 19th St. South.
  • Follow 19th Street all the way to Hwy 231. Cross over Hwy 231 on to Hwy 34. Follow Hwy 34 and it leads in front of Civic Center and Lakeside Park. (2801 Stemley Bridge Road)
Another Option:
  • I-20 east to Pell City exit 158:
  • Go right onto Hwy 231 south;
  • Go south about 5 miles turn left at red light (8th red light) on to Hwy 34.
  • Follow Hwy 34 and it leads in front of Civic Center.


Great story, great photos - expedition class V wilderness kayaking in Wyoming - check it out:

July 25, 2012


The new Dagger playboat looks awesome, esp. with Rush Sturges in it:

July 18, 2012

Was singing this out loud just now

I was singing it about my basil/homegrown tomato/zucchini pasta sauce... It 'won't be long' until it's done... anyway:

July 17, 2012

Black Coyote Green Chili

My friend Jeff K made this green chili for a cook-off and it was so delicious I asked for the recipe. Here it is:

Black Coyote Green Chili
World Champion 2004
Source: Wes Carlson
Submitted by:  www.chlicookoff.com

2 lbs Pork Loin - Cubed
1 can 28 oz. Green Chili - whole
Seed and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp. salt
2 cloves garlic
2 cups water
5 jalapenos - seeded
1 medium sweet onion - chopped
5 tbsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 cans campbells chicken broth
2 tbsp. green tabasco sauce
8 oz. green sauce 
Mix together salt, cumin, and oregano, set aside.
Blend together jalapenos and green sauce, set aside.
Gray pork in frying pan, set aside.
Combine chicken broth, half the water, onion and garlic in cooking pot.
Heat until onion is translucent.
Add blended jalapenos, pork, and 1-1/2 tbsp of cumin mixture to pot.
Continue cooking over medium heat.
After one hour, add 1/3 can green chilis (blended), 1 tbsp. green tabasco sauce and another 1-1/2 
tbsp. of cumin mixture.  
After 2-1/2 hours, add remaning green chilis, green tabasco sauce and cumin mixture.
Salt, thin or thicken sauce to suit.

July 15, 2012

Hey bulldog

Hope for the future

More info:  http://germguy.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/a-germy-answer-to-cancer/

Days For Girls International

In the U.S. we women take for granted the ready availability of products for menstruation.  In many other countries this just doesn't exist.  I'm planning a trip to Ecuador and have been forewarned that anything of this nature that I might need,  I must bring with me from the U.S.
Days For Girls International is making washable feminine hygiene kits "available to women in 22 countries on 5 continents and has helped organizations in the creation of approx. 50,000 feminine hygiene kits."
Check them out at:  http://www.daysforgirls.org

July 13, 2012

Quick Random Thoughts For July 13 2012

1.  A reminder for anyone interested in, or beginning to, paddle whitewater: my friend Steve and I have built a wiki for new padders here:  http://nubiaq.wikispaces.com/.   I try to keep it updated with new and current info as I can.

2.  I want a Nord Electro 3 full-size keyboard, please.  

3.  If you are looking for a non-fiction book to read, I cannot recommend The Emperor of All Maladies highly enough.  I love it when a book teaches me things I thought I knew something about.  This book blew my mind.

4.  In keeping on the subject of the book, check this out:  http://cancergenome.nih.gov/

5.  I am going to stay home and play guitar tonight.  I tried using my M-Audio to record some stuff on my laptop, but there is a lot of hiss etc. in it.  So recommendations for a better system are welcomed.   I wouldn't mind recording to an SD card or hard drive instead of straight to the laptop.   I will admit that I suspect my Korg Pandora box is to blame for most if not all of the the noise.   So suggestions regarding that are welcome too.

6.  After a year and a half of dedication to Crossfit,  I pretty.

July 11, 2012

Sat June 21 - Avondale RiverFest benefiting Black Warrior Riverkeeper!

Avondale RiverFest to Benefit Black Warrior Riverkeeper on Saturday July 21 Free Live Music Event at Avondale Brewing Company from Noon to Midnight Birmingham – On Saturday, July 21, noon to midnight, Avondale Brewing Company will host “Avondale RiverFest” to benefit Black Warrior Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization protecting the Black Warrior River and its tributaries. Free to the public, Avondale RiverFest will feature live music on the brewery’s new backyard stage.

Pic of the Tablesaw rock

Here is a pic of the rock in Tablesaw on the Ocoee that gave the rapid its name.   The rock fell over during a storm' I think it was in the late 80's.    The rock threw up a roostertail of water that resembled a spinning tablesaw.

July 10, 2012

Quick Random Thoughts for July 10 2012

1.   Why didn't I think of this example of great pop yesterday? It is one of my favorite songs.

2.  Whenever people tell me they want to get in shape and might even try Crossfit, I suggest they do some burpees everyday first, after all they are free, require no equipment, and we do them in Xfit all of the time; they are a whole body aerobic and bodyweight exercise... and for some reason they never take me up on it.  Maybe it is because they are horrible.

3.  Book suggestion - "The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee.    It's about cancer.   I've just started it, fascinating read.  Also suggested reading:  This article in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/health/in-gene-sequencing-treatment-for-leukemia-glimpses-of-the-future.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general
and its sister articles as well, there are links to them on the page.

4.  I can't help thinking that there is something obvious about cancer that we are missing.  I wonder if great minds from other disciplines, like the branches of engineering, and art/design, and all other human endeavors, applied themselves to the puzzle of cancer if some answers to its genesis would be found.  Because cancer at its core is simply growth, unrestricted growth.  Now I am sure someone more knowledgeable can correct me on that definition. 

5.  Insomnia is one of the great perks of perimenopause.

6.  I love you.

7.  I painted my toenails sparkly blue.

July 8, 2012


Eric Jackson, the man, the legend:

July 7, 2012

How I Learned to Play The Blues

For years, I would try to hear the solos in blues songs.   I just didn't hear them.   What I mean is, they didn't compute in my brain.  So I couldn't play them.
Elisabeth Cotton - a regular on my Ipod, check her out
To me they sounded like repetitive, simple pentatonic patterns but the language was foreign.  My typical voice is in the power-pop happy melodic solo.    Like the solo in this song:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWEPu0w-7w
or this song, yes it is a keyboard and guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gKyRmic20
or this song which is simply kick ass:  http://youtu.be/PrLcNWi94Wk
But I digress.  A couple of things happened to tell me how to play the blues.  First, I started playing ukulele. I blogged about the uke last year.  Don't laugh! (wags finger at you).   Ukulele breaks down all the chords into three or four notes.  The patterns of notes are the same as on the top strings of a guitar, though the key is different.   (huh? read this maybe it will explain better: http://www.ukuleles.com/SetupnCare/TenorTune.html)
Thus, ukulele has helped me memorize note positions in a way I hadn't thought about them before.  Ukulele has also helped me with learning some of the American Songbook classics like Gershwin's hits or Kern's.     I have a great ukulele vendor btw if you're in the market:
ANYWAY.   The second thing that happened is someone who is a great guitarist told me that blues solos are like sentences you speak.   If that was obvious to you, well it wasn't to me for whatever reason.  Pop solos are like sentences too, but the sentence in a pop solo, to me, is really making a melody that is a counter-part to the melody of the song it's in.  Whereas blues solos are speaking a paragraph about... well I don't know exactly but they have a beginning, peaks and valleys, and a denouement just like a novel.  
If these thoughts are helpful to you, here is a link that explores the subject in depth and I do mean in depth:
It's so in depth that it makes my face melt, but I try to understand it. 

Just The Way You Look Tonight
So, I got better and better at hearing, and playing, blues solos as I learned more of the language.  I do not have the same fondness for them as I do for my melodic pop solos, however.  For one thing blues solos are not something I write and memorize and play over and over because they make me happy.  My pop solos totally are that for me.  In fact I'll make up a song just to play the solo.  I'll never play the blues that often because it really isn't my thing.  But it's nice to not eff up the solos so much anymore in a jamming session. 

Definition of 'pop' to me: quintissentially The Beatles and every happy note that sprung from their influence.

BTW if you want to play some pop or blues or whatever I am often found at Highland Music on Saturdays.  Here's a Ticks song I did a solo on back in 1994.  

July 6, 2012

blog hog

I don't know why, but being off on vacation this week has really made me blog more.  If I won the lottery and retired I'd be a blogging fool with a big floppy hat and sunglasses.  But sometimes I come up with something that just makes me laugh.  So here 'tis:

You've got to stop your evil ways, kitteh
before I stop petting you
you've got to change, kitteh
stop all the clawing and the hacked up goo
You've got me gagging, and cussing, and running around
with mops and cleaner, and sneezing, I look like a clown this can't go on...
cat stop yer evil ways...


idears, o dear!

These are some random images/ideas I am mulling about.

One day we'll be these mean little old ladies
grumbling around the nursing home
we won't admit we ever knew each other 
bouncing our chairs down the cobblestone.

I saw a picture, it was something I
didn't remember looking like that before
Middle age is so unbecoming...
We waste all of the time until it's over
then it's over...

And then it's Fancy Hat Time!

Most tempting live-in-a-van-by-the-river job opportunity I've ever seen:  Denali Raft Guide

July 5, 2012

Sweet Sloan

Yes another post today

Well, shucks.   I did write another song.   Anyway, I am still here bored stiff because I am resting which is what I promised myself I would do today.   Until I go to rolling practice this evening.   Which means I will miss Crossfit which I feel bad about but I scheduled the rolling practice before I realized it would conflict with my Xfit class.   I feel bad about missing Xfit because it is overhead squats tonight which is something I am not good at (my 'goat' in XFit parlance) and need to practice.  Also because I know coach Cori will call/email me asking where I was.  And then I may get some sushi because I dearly love it so.   
Why is it so hard to simply rest?  
I think that resting is a habit and it is not something I am in the habit of doing.     
So, other things going on - I have a good friend dealing with her father's cancer which is something I am unfortunately very familiar with, with both of my parents and my two sisters as well.   Cancer is scary, tenacious, requires much patience and the treatments are very rough.  It has made me wonder if cancer being so ubiquitous is a modern thing or if it was always true in the human species, only we did not know how to diagnose the different types.  
I try not to think about cancer very much; with both sisters having survived breast cancer it is a scary thing to have as a possibility; but rather than walk around with a Damocles' sword I figure annual screenings and being as active as I can are the best things I can do.   But there is not a lot I can do for my friend but try to be there for her, mostly for her to vent, as I find venting an absolute necessity when dealing with people I love being in pain etc.  
Now, 'being there' is something that I am not very good at at all; I am thoughtless and self-centered generally and so I fail, often, to be as attentive to my friends' needs as I should be, but I am trying.  One of the things kayaking (yes that again) has taught me is that as much as I would prefer to be in control of what is happening around me, the river (life) is not under my control, so I must go with the flow (cliche but appropriate) of events rather than trying to wrest them to follow my whims or compartmentalize them into manageable bits.   And - you will love this - kayaking has taught me this by kicking my ever-loving ass over and over until I get the message.  When I finally do get it I will send you a postcard from some peak of nirvana or something.  There is nothing so humbling as dragging my waterlogged-rat-of-self on the shore below a rapid that has slapped me good.  Well, that is what having a loved one with cancer feels like, out of control and no way around the facts, so you just do what you can and hope for the best.  The one 'good' thing about cancer I can think of is it does give people time to say goodbye and I love you and settle up past grievances etc.  But I hate it.
Well this has become a kind of downer post and I didn't intend that so... ok... back to resting.    I am going to rest some more.  Be restful.   Restive.   Restorative.  hmmm.  maybe that means paint my toenails.  Yes, I think it does.  

p.s. so email me already you evil old hag.  dangerjudy gmail


Quick Random Thoughts for July 5 2012

1. I'm thinking about doing another triathlon, because the triathletes wear stickers all over themselves, and I love stickers.  

2.  Actually most kayakers I've encountered  love stickers; I am not sure why.  Maybe it's just that kayaking makes us feel like little kids playing in the water, and little kids like stickers!

3. There was a table with free stickers on it at Week of Rivers, and people were grabbing them up, including me, though I only got one - it's a waterproof sticker for contact info in case whatever it's stuck onto gets lost... I didn't get any other free stickers because I would be tempted to put them all over my new car.  I am trying not to do that, at least not for awhile.  So I only have one sticker on my car, a small bat sticker.  My old car had a lot of stickers on it.  I don't have a picture of my old car handy.  So I'll put one of my favorite photoshop compositions instead:
Ronzo, Dneesh, RickR, Laughingtotem as ABBA in the NOC
4.  It's weird but I am going to go caving instead of paddling this weekend.   I mean, I think I am. I have the kayaking bug so bad right now!  Of course cleaning up this house instead is out of the question...
5.  BTW, I am getting another boat.  I need another boat.  I actually really do need another boat because the boats I have do not fill every possible niche of paddling I might consider doing on a given day.   So I need a new boat.  Yes, a new boat.   Brand new.  Spanking.  New.  I need this.   I didn't need a kitten, so I didn't get one, but I do need a new kayak.   You know what I mean don't you?   Will probably be a Remix 69.   Though the Mamba 8.1 is in the running too.   I think I might be a little too light for the Mamba 8.1 and I'm too heavy for the Mamba 7.6. hmmm. One thing that my friends agree with me about is that considering another boat in the fleet is always the right thing to do - because it gets us out of the house and off the couch and Living the Life.   I can always call Ronzo; he knows to say "YES you need that boat!" as soon as I say "hello".  And I will do that same thing for him and for any other friend considering another water toy.
6.  I was telling someone about how much I love the Smoky Mountains in Tenn/NC and how I know I will live there one day.   I think some people are more drawn to one topography over another; for instance, people who are drawn to the beach and the sea.   I do love the beach, especially walking on the beach at night with moonlight...  and I have been to many places and seen many other mountains including the Rockies, the Alps, the Sierra Nevada, and Mt. Rainier; but the Smoky Mountains are special.   There is a fecundity in these Southern hills; hidden wet places where ferns and poison ivy and mountain laurel crowd together in all variations of the color green;  random thunderstorms and ozone charged air, moss and rocks and water falling down the gorges; critters abound; and at night, even after the hottest days, the air is so cool you need your sleeping bag in your tent.    
7.  These thoughts are not quick, but they are random.   
8.  Do you have people that you just do not talk to?  I do.  It is childish of me, I know.  We're all going to be these ol' bitchy ladies who never talk to each other if we don't watch out.  Then we will be dead and gone and have missed the opportunity.   But why talk to someone if you don't have something nice to say or if they just annoy the piss out of you?  That's how I see it.  I've only got so much piss and vinegar, and I can't be squandering it...  I need it to cuss out the river gods after a nasty swim.  
9.  Though looking back over several decades, there really are very few times when me, marjorie, and donna all got along with each other simultaneously.  
10.  I think I'm supposed to write another song now.   

hot chocolate

July 4, 2012

Quick Random Thoughts for July 4 2012

1.  It was a good July 4 with my family.

2.  black and white kitties are Best.

3.  R.I.P. Andy Griffith.

4.  Thought about buying a finger paints set.

5.  um, yeah... http://youtu.be/fCdXKVgDlh8

Happy 4th of July